Cute DIY Bookshelves Are the Best Thing to Happen to Books Since Reading

Rachel’s Team Pick:

I take an embarrassing amount of pride in my domicile and domestic skills for a broke 23-year-old who, real talk, actually left the headboard of her bed behind in her last apartment by accident. But I’m really proud of the kitchen-island-on-wheels I got as a gift and the little loveseat I bought off Craigslist from a laid-off dad. I don’t have anything approaching a good or cute or Martha Stewart-esque system for my books, though. Largely they’re in piles on my counter, my table, my floors, and sometimes my bed. I still have pretty much every book I’ve ever bought because getting rid of them makes me feel physical pain, so it’s a pretty real problem. Which is why it’s so neat that there’s 25 DIY bookshelf ideas on the Internet! Some of them are a little beyond my capabilities (there are a surprising number involving ladders and also one involving industrial piping?) but if I could find an IKEA, my apartment would have these wallpapered shelves ASAP.

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Originally from Boston, MA, Rachel now lives in the Midwest. Topics dear to her heart include bisexuality, The X-Files and tacos. Her favorite Ciara video is probably "Ride," but if you're only going to watch one, she recommends "Like A Boy." You can follow her on twitter and instagram.

Rachel has written 1142 articles for us.


  1. Oh My God Rachel. I have so many books too books I haven’t read books on my bed and books that stay inside my head.
    I have been putting off buying a bookcase for my books for…months…

  2. I have to say, most of them look suitable for storing six or seven books at most. I need shelving that can handle quantity.

  3. well sheesh it was already hard enough to put some of my books in the ‘sell’ pile for moving but now all i want to do is make bookshelves and store them, DAMMIT.

    why do books become like children once you have them. i can’t get rid of them, toooo heartbreaking.

    • Books are generally much more well behaved than actual children. Also they eat less! However, they take up nearly as much time and are only slightly easier to ignore while you’re trying to sleep or clean.

  4. I have too many books to fit on anything. They’re everywhere. I feel that one day someone might just find me drowning in a sea of books trying to desperately escape.
    My brother did buy me a bookshelf once that looked a bit like a vagina though, but then I thought the books were too sharp to be put into it.

  5. I’ve already sent this around to my roommates. These are totally going to happen when we move next month.

  6. I’ve gotten to the point where my books are shelved alphabetically by genre, and all catalogued on my computer for easy lending My girlfriend has tried to help me cull the herd a few times, but I invariably end up with about a half-dozen “I guess I could let these go” and shelves and shelves of “WHY DO YOU WANT ME TO GET RID OF THIS YOU MAY AS WELL CUT OFF MY ARM”.

    Basically what I’m saying is that I need to be independently wealthy so that I can have a personal library with floor-to-ceiling shelves and one of those ladder-on-wheels things. Oh for the day my ladder has wheels…

  7. agghhh love this thank you! i’m moving out of the country and won’t be able to afford furniture. i like the idea of making a home within my home just for my books. i also experience physical pain if one of them goes.

  8. Thank you, I needed this. I have so many books that I had to stack them on the stairs. This allows for easy tripping, but at least, when the EMTs come to dig me out of the pile, they will have something interesting to read.

  9. I have a sudden desire to make a coffee table (or a dinner table) with bookshelves for the table legs

  10. I, too have hundreds on hundreds of books.
    But the closest I got to DIY-ing it was collaging my entire bookshelf and where I am now in the ongoing project, I have to get another book shelf!

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